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Boris Godunov's Reign
The Reign of Lzhedmitry I
The Reign of Vasily Shuysky (1606-1610)
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The Swedish Intervention. Semiboyarshina.
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The Reign of Vasily Shuysky (1606-1610)

In three days a high-born boyard Vasily Ivanovich Shuysky, the organizer of the plot became a new Tsar of Russia. Formally the power passed to the Boyard Duma, but in fact its authority was ephemeral.

Internal political situation of the country grew worse. Russia was stirred by rumours that "Tsarevitch Dmitry" survived again. A mass revolt burst out in the south with the centre in Putivl. Revolted cossacks, peasants and urban population elected Ivan Isayevich Bolotnikov, ex-military leader of the Chernigov Prince A.A. Telyatevsky, who came with a big troop of Zaporozhye Cossacks, the Great Voevode in Putivl.

In the summer of 1606 Bolotnikov with a 10-thousand strong army of rebels started a campaign against Moscow. The army of Vasily Shujsky was defeated near fortresses Kromy and Yelets, which were captured. By October, 1606 big in number troops of noble servicemen I. Pashkov (streletses' leader), Razan voevode L. Lyapunov and G. Sumbulov joined Bolotnikov's army.

Despite of the great force rebellious troops failed to seize the capital. In a battle at Kolomnskoye Village on December 2, 1606 the Tsar armies smashed the insurgents (the noblemen's troops came over to the Tsar's side). After that the insurgent army had to retreat and in December, 1606 camped in Kaluga. In May, 1607 Bolotnikov moved the army to Tula. Hastily mustered governmental army march out to seize Tula on May 21. It was led by Tsar Vasily.

The besieging party made up a dam on the river Upa and flooded the city. That caused capitulation (October 1607). Vasily Shuysky promised to mercy the rebels. However the boyard government did not keep the word and the participants of the revolt were savagely punished. Ivan Bolotnikov was banished to Kargopol, where shortly after he was secretly blinded and drowned.

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